Sen. Bingaman: death of bin Laden "very welcome news"; Rep. Pearce joins crowds across from capitol

May 2, 2011

Washington, DC – New Mexico U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today called the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden "very welcome news", and said he looks forward to hearing more details about the operation in coming days. He said the search for bin Laden "has been underway for a very long time." The Democrat Bingaman said the U-S military, intelligence community, and President Obama deserve significant credit because of the high risk involved in the effort.

"Some of us are old enough to remember when President Carter tried to rescue the hostages in Teheran in 1980," Bingaman said. "And that was unsuccessful, resulted in the death of, I believe, eight, U.S. servicemen. So this was very successful, and I congratulate everybody who was involved in it, and it's a good day for the country."

Bingaman also said he thinks that as bin Laden's death weakens al-Qaida, the justification for ongoing U-S engagement in Afghanistan may be lessened. And he added he hopes the news of bin Laden's death will help bring closure to families who have been impacted by terrorist violence masterminded by the al-Qaida leader.

Meanwhile, New Mexico Republican Representative Steve Pearce returned to Washington late last night, following a visit back to his southern New Mexico district. He told KEDU Radio (Ruidoso) Monday morning that he got back just in time to be one of the first to join the crowds across the street from the capitol. Pearce said he watched people arrive by car, taxi, and skateboard.

"Probably ended up with ten to twenty thousand people," Pearce said, "just a mood of jubilation, chanting 'USA', singing the National Anthem. It was a very peaceful demonstration, one that had so much enthusiasm. People who were tired after ten years of not being able to find bin Laden."

Pearce said both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama deserve credit for the action taken against bin Laden. But, he added, he believes the U.S. has "a lot more work to do" in fighting terrorism.